6th May 2016 - Moving On
Friday 6th May 2016
We could easily have stayed for a few more days in the Czech Republic but it was time to move on as we needed to be in Leipzig for a tour tomorrow. There was a choice of leaving at 7:30 or 9:30 so we opted for the latter as we had a very early start tomorrow but it was late, leading to a bout of nail-biting over whether we would make the connection at Praha though in the end we had a good run and picked up all the lost time so made the connection with ease.
In true ČD fashion there was no platform shown for the EC to Kiel, despite there being less than 20 minutes before departure. This might have had something to do with two platforms being out of use due to building works but ČD do have a tendency to only provide platform "gen" shortly before departure. EC378 only pulled into the platform at its booked departure time so that was an instant late start though as we had plenty of time at Dresden it wasn't a problem for us.
It was a good run to Dresden with some nice scenery along the Elbe valley and there were still some class 143-hauled S-Bahn services in evidence. As we passed what would be our train to Leipzig in the sidings on the approach to Dresden Hbf it was pleasing to see a class 120 electric on the front, especially as it was our lowest mileage one by far. The only previous time we'd been hauled by it was between Hamburg Hbf and Dammtor; less than a mile!
Past the Lößnitzgrundbahn at Radebeul with two 0-4-4-0 "Mallet" locomotives and one of the more usual 2-10-2T outside then, a little later on, the Döllnitzbahn where there was no sign of any narrow gauge trains. We arrived in Leipzig at 16:30 so after a quick visit to our hotel (The Inter City) we returned to the station to see what was about, one of our three remaining class 182s would be nice but there was also a whole new sub-class of IC 146/5s to look for plus a new diesel-hauled service between Leipzig and Chemnitz. As the departure of the latter was imminent we checked that out first but it was one of the ex NOB (Nord-Ostsee Bahn) locos that we'd previously had on the Marschbahn so our attention turned to the white double-deck set a few platforms away which would be a guaranteed winner.
Halle (Saale) would be quite far enough as it would be dinner time by then and we wanted to check out the progress of the station rebuilding, it was certainly extensive with half the station being out of use. Almost everything had been removed, track, overhead line equipment, platforms; in fact the only thing still standing were the station canopies. We had already noticed that the restricted capacity was causing delays, especially when things were running late - not an unusual occurrence in Germany these days.
After a quick meal at the Asian "restaurant" in the station we returned to Leipzig on an ordinary IC train as the new double deck ones only ran every two hours and we wanted to have a quick look at the class 182s on the S bahn. This proved to be a worthwhile operation when one of our last three for haulage turned up there was only time for a short run as we had to be up early in the morning.
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